This is not you’re granola munching cousin’s Prius, I can tell you that much. As has been rumored for a while, Ferrari is jumping into the hybrid game with a performance oriented hybrid version of its 599 GTB Fiorano. Half-cleverly dubbed the HY-KERS, it can be efficient, and it can run on batteries only, but really, this is all about deploying Ferraris racing knowledge into a road car.
Last season, Ferrari was one of only a few teams to run the KERS system in Formula One racing. And Ferrari was one of only two teams to win with the system (the other being arch rival McLaren). The KERS system run in their F1 car is amazingly similar to the system used in the HY-KERS version of the 599 GTB Fiorano.
Like the F1 system the road going version stores energy recovered during braking in lithium ion batteries. When needed (i.e. whenever you stomp on the loud pedal) the energy is then released from the batteries and back into the drivetrain.
Of course, Ferrari being the best car maker in the world, they had some novel twists on this fairly tried and true racing scheme. For one thing, the 599 GTB Fiorano already has a driveline layout that is very well suited to integrating a performance hybrid system.
The 599 GTB Fiorano features a front engine, rear transmission/transaxle layout, with the gearbox hanging out back by the rear axle. In the “normal” version of the 599 GTB Fiorano, this aids in overall balance of the car. In the hybrid version, it allows packaging of things like EV controllers and drive motors in very nifty and slick ways.
Although the overall weight is up some from the stock 599 GTB Fiorano, the center of gravity is actually lower for the hybrid. And on top of that, the hybrid drive kicks in more than 100 horsepower on top of the already impressive V12 plant’s 600+ ponies.
And speaking of mundane things like packaging, all of the hybrid components to take away any room from either the passengers or the luggage space in the otherwise normal 599 GTB Fiorano body.
Are they going to build it? Of course they’re being non-committal, but you think it would be a lead pipe cinch for them to crank out 20 or 30 of these guys a year, don’t you think?